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COLLECTION Identifier: A-27

Papers of Ethel McLean Johnson, 1918-1945 (inclusive) 1919-1932 (bulk)


Correspondence, speeches, etc., of Ethel McLean Johnson, public official and writer.


  • Creation: 1918-1945
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1919-1932

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research. An appointment is necessary to use any audiovisual material.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Ethel McLean Johnson as well as copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.

Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.


1.25 linear feet (3 boxes) plus 2 reels of microfilm (master negative)

Mainly speeches and articles, with related materials, by Ethel McLean Johnson. Assistant Commissioner, Massachusetts Department of Labor and Industries, 1919-1932, re: 1. Bureau of women in industry; 2. Minimum wage; 3. Child labor; and 4. Labor legislation in Massachusetts. Also included are minutes, etc. of the Massachusetts Council on Women [and children] in Industry, 1921-1930, an unofficial advisory committee for the Department of Labor and Industries in matters relating to women and children. Also correspondence of Johnson, and a few later articles.


Ethel McLean Johnson, public official and writer, was born in Brownfield, Maine, in 1882. She attended the Parsonfield Seminary and the Western State Normal School; she was graduated from Simmons College in 1910 with a degree in Library Science and in the same year received a Litt. B. from Boston University. She was employed by the Women's Educational and Industrial Union, 1910-1918, and in the summer of 1918 was the Secretary of the Congressional Committee, Massachusetts Woman Suffrage Association. She became a member of the Massachusetts Minimum Wage Commission, 1918-1919, and served as Assistant Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Labor and Industries, 1919-1932. Johnson was appointed Minimum Wage Director of the State of New Hampshire, 1933-1935 by Governor John Gilbert Winant, and assisted in organizing the New Hampshire Commission on Interstate Compacts. From 1935 to 1939, Johnson worked under the direction of Winant at the International Labor Organization in Geneva, and was Acting Director of the Washington office of the International Labor Organization, 1939-1943. From 1943 to 1946, Johnson was Special Assistant to Ambassador Winant at the Court of St. James. A prolific freelance writer, Johnson spent a busy retirement in Brownfield writing reports, articles of news and opinion, and poetry. Her last years were spent in a nursing home in Florida.

Physical Location

Collection stored off site: researchers must request access 36 hours before use.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: 56-104

Received June 1956. Gift of Miss Ethel McLean Johnson, Brownfield, Oxford County, Maine.

Related Material:

There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; see Ethel McLean Johnson Additional papers, 1840-1978 (inclusive), 1920-1960 (bulk) (79-M209).


  1. Box 1: 1-29
  2. Box 2: 30-79
  3. Box 3: 80-134
Johnson, Ethel McLean, 1882-1978. Papers of Ethel McLean Johnson, 1918-1945 (inclusive), 1919-1932 (bulk): A Finding Aid
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute Repository

The preeminent research library on the history of women in the United States, the Schlesinger Library documents women's lives from the past and present for the future. In addition to its traditional strengths in the history of feminisms, women’s health, and women’s activism, the Schlesinger collections document the intersectional workings of race and ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class in American history.

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